Originally published on metropolis.co.jp on June 2010
A curious feature of Japanese cinema is that themes get repeated in mini-cycles—recently, for instance, we’ve had a cluster of films dealing with amnesia (though I can’t remember enough movies to be sure!). The latest is Matataki, in which Izumi (Keiko Kitagawa) has lost her memory in a motorcycle accident that killed her cute, artistic and altogether too-perfect boyfriend (Masaki Okada). She suffers recurring nightmares, deep depression and general post-traumatic stress disorder. At the psychiatric ward where she receives treatment (which is not helping), Izumi meets lawyer Makiko (Nene Otuska) and, feeling an inquisitive mind might help reconstruct the accident, turns to the older women for assistance. Rife with overacting (especially from Kitagawa) and replete with an annoying soundtrack, this melodrama is only for true fans of sobfests.